For the sixth year, Buoy Beer Company is set to release Love, Lost at Sea, a barrel-aged barleywine. One of Buoy’s specialty bottle releases, Love, Lost at Sea 2023 is aged in former whiskey barrels from a different whiskey partner each year. For the 2023 release, Buoy Beer partnered with Portland’s Westward Whiskey and the beer even survived the brewery’s partial building collapse last summer.
During the 12-month aging process, Westward Whiskey’s single-malt whiskey barrels are described as layering a warm taste and aroma of bourbon onto Love, Lost at Sea’s distinctive malt profile. The barleywine’s dense grist of British pale, British Crystal, Chocolate, and special roast malts create a bouquet of dried dark fruit and toffee, and its toasted sweet flavors of caramel and marshmallow are balanced with a healthy dose of Oregon hops. Together, they create a strong, complex, and harmonious mahogany-colored ale with a final ABV of 10%.
Fans of Love, Lost at Sea also have an opportunity to directly compare the barleywine’s different annual varieties. Throughout the month of February at Buoy Beer at the Food Hub, barleywine lovers can sip on Love, Lost at Sea 2019-2023 in a special edition taster tray flight. A limited number of bottles from past years will also be on sale.
Label artwork for Love, Lost at Sea 2023 was created by Silje Røe Hagland (@sillysilje), a tattoo artist at Tattoo Smile in SE Portland. The label features a rough sea with a lost bottle and a flying gull.
“When asked to create the 2023 Love Lost at Sea label, I was visiting my hometown of Stavanger, Norway – a coastal city where canning fish was the leading industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s,” said Hagland, in a statement. “I found inspiration in the old canning labels displayed at the old factory, the constant squawking of seagulls as you wander the city streets, and memories of many days spent combing the beaches for mail in bottles. One of my favorite memories growing up is sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen while she told stories of similar treasure hunts: of searching the beaches for letters, rolled up and tucked neatly in bottles to be thrown from the shores of the surrounding islands, for curious children, or maybe lost lovers to find as they washed ashore. I was also excited and inspired to collaborate with one of my favorite breweries around.”
Love, Lost at Sea 2023 is packaged in 500mL bottles and on draft. Find it throughout Buoy Beer Company’s Oregon, Washington, and Idaho distribution areas.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.